Friday, 1 October 2010

Working Dogs are known for their stamina

And here's the exception to that rule. Pip only worked one day this week.

Today is the official start of pheasant season in England, and it's not been an auspicious one. It was cancelled due to inclement weather. The guns were here to shoot partridge, but the rain and winds are so ferocious that it would be unfair to the quarry. Partridge are small birds, and ours have been rained on all night. Thankfully the guns were able to reschedule.

In all the time I've been working on this shoot, I've never known a cancelled day. The only weather that will stop a pheasant is fog or snow. Both will cause a pheasant to lose its bearings in flight, and can result in an exhausted bird falling dead to the ground. Rain is the keepers friend. Pheasants don't wander far in the rain, so you're sure to find them where you put them.

I won't be wandering far from home either. And I can get on with making some apple chutney before the winds knock down what's left on my apple tree. I can't make any blackberry jam as the 1st October is also an inauspicious day for blackberries. According to local lore, the devil spits on them after today (or, if you're from Cornwall, the devil pees on yours.) Though, it would be fun to have jam labelled 'Blackberry & Devil Spit' in the pantry.

Apple Chutney bubbling on the stove


Poppy Cottage said...

Just wondering how tall the Cornish Devil must be (or a pretty good shot!! - pardon the pun)

Lily is spending most of her day in the 'Pip Poition' when she isn't looking at me with the 'what have you done to me Mum' look in her eyes!!

Terry Scoville said...

Sorry to hear the Pheasant opener got rained out. As for the berries and lore , oh my goodness. Best not to take any chances! Have a happy dry day inside.

Megan said...

Haha, that's the best jam idea I've heard in ages! Unfortunately it's much too cold here for me to find any more wild blackberries, but I'm definitely going to be interested in whether there's going to be some at the Farmers' market next week... :)

Heidianne said...

I have heard that it's back luck to eat the blackberries after Michalmas. Over here they are so moldy by now no one but the Devil would want to eat them. Except the racoons. Stay warm and dry!

Paula said...

Pip looks mighty comfy.

It's good to have something bubbling on the stove when the weather is snarky....I think I'll do chili next.

I wonder if that devil folk lore had more to do with the way the climate USED to be in your area of the world. I think that if folks are growing wine grapes in Britain because it's warming up, the blackberries should be okay past the first of October. At any rate, I think you should put up a batch of Blackberry and Devil Spit Preserves. It would be just the thing to open up on Halloween for breakfast....

Tamar@StarvingofftheLand said...

Funny you should mention apple chutney. I just found out I've got access to a loaded apple tree. Got a good recipe?

And, for the record, devil's spit makes everything better.

Dog Hair in my Coffee said...

I LOVE this picture of Pip. What a contented, happy, warm and snuggled in dog. Pip and I would be good friends. And both times I've read your post today, my mind has read, "Today is the official start of PEASANT season" -
That is one cool story about the blackberries, and I would have picked them today JUST to have jam labeled as such!!! But then, I'm a little contrary like that sometimes! :)

Karen Thomason/Gordon Setter Crossing said...

You must be fibbing Jennifer, about Pip only working one day. (ha ha) He just looks so deep in sleep...and comfortable!

Maria said...

PS this goes way back... when you posted you were reading Louise Dickinson Rich's "We Took to the Woods" I told you I liked it so much I was going to try and read other books by her... I can now report back that 'My Neck of the Woods'and 'Happy The Land' are equally good, in a very similar vein to WTTTW(descriptions of life in the the woods). I've just started 'The Peninsula', which is from a later stage of her life, when she moved to Gouldsborough peninsula.
Most of these are out of print, but Abe Books turns out to be a really good place to find old books!
There is also a biography of Louise Dickinson Rich called "She took to the woods" (funny!), which is interesting.
You can tell I've had too much spare time on my hands recently, unlike you, but I thought I would let you know that, yes, her other books are also good.